Send to

Choose Destination
Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2018 Mar 15;4:2333721418760122. doi: 10.1177/2333721418760122. eCollection 2018 Jan-Dec.

Mediator Effect of Balance Problems on Association Between Grip Strength and Falls in Older Adults: Results From the KORA-Age Study.

Author information

University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria.
Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria.
Technical University of Munich, Germany.
Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.
Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.
University of Tromsø, Norway.
University Center for Health Sciences at the Klinikum Augsburg, Germany.


Objective: To examine the association between grip strength and history of falls among older individuals, and to assess the possible mediating effect of balance problems on this relationship. Method: Data originate from KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg)-Age Study of 808 individuals (65 years and above). Follow-up assessment occurred 3 years later. Results: The risk of falls within the last 12 months was reduced on average by 3% (odds ratio [OR] 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 0.97 [0.94, 0.99]; p value = .026) per 1-kg increase in maximum grip strength after adjusting for age and gender. There was a trend toward an indirect effect of grip strength through the mediator variable balance problems (p value = .043). Discussion: Increased muscular strength is associated with a reduced risk of falls in older age after adjustment for age and gender. The association is partially mediated by balance problems. Thus, in older adults, muscle-strengthening exercises may decrease the risk of falling.


aged; balance; falls; grip strength

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center